Tom Essinger-Hileman

Probing Inflationary Cosmology with CLASS
Contact information:
Johns Hopkins University
Department of Physics and Astronomy
3400 N. Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21218
Fellowship status:
Starting year: 2013
Research Interests:

I investigate the origins, contents, and evolution of our universe through observations of
the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). As a member of the Atacama Cosmology
Telescope (ACT) collaboration, I have contributed to high-angular-resolution measurements
of the CMB temperature anisotropy. My current focus is the measurement of
inflationary gravitational waves through their impact on the large-scale polarization of the CMB as part of the Atacama B-Mode Search (ABS) and Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) experiments. The CMB polarization provides our only observational window onto the very young universe and physics at grand-unifi ed-theory (GUT) scales. I develop novel instrument architectures and devices to optimize the science return of these experiments; commission and operate the experiments in the Atacama Desert of Chile; and develop calibration strategies and characterize systematic errors particular to CMB polarimeters. ABS, CLASS, and the next generation of CMB instruments will constrain the energy scale of inflation, the sum of neutrino masses, and the nature of dark matter and dark energy, among other things, and I plan to play a leading role in the future of CMB research.

Education and Outreach Interests:

Outreach to local Baltimore high school students and teaching at Johns Hopkins University using the JHU Small Radio Telescope.